Busyness seems a badge of honour so many of us wear these days. We celebrate our success and worth to ourselves and to others by the number of things we do, responsibilities we have, and accomplishments we make. “How are you?”…. “I’m busy!”
There is nothing inherently wrong or bad about all of these myriad responsiblities, accomplishments and doings. If they serve us by helping us to express our truth, be joyful, live our values and to walk skillfully and compassionately in the world, then these are worthwhile efforts. And yet, too often, we overfill our lives with ‘doings’ and ‘shoulds’ that do not serve us, or else are too numerous and simultaneous that they overwhelm our capacity to be present and well. At times this over-busyness carries an unconscious intention to numb or distract ourselves from our own inner suffering and our own fears. By not allowing spaces in our life to feel, to commune, and to nurture, this suffering only grows.
“Each moment we are focused on the future or the past is a temporary loss of this life”
Despite a modern world of technological convenience, we are busier than ever. Despite everpresent social media connections to hundreds of friends, we often feel so very alone. Anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, stress leave,and burnout are becoming epidemic public health issues that are bubbling over in our society, having significant social, economic and political repercussions. By 2020 the World Health Organization estimates that clinical depression will be the second largest cause of overall burden of disease worldwide.
Mindfulness is a practice of being alive. As Jon Kabat Zinn defines it, “mindfulness is paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgementally”. As we slow down a little, let go and simplify in ways that serve us; and offer kindness, care and compassion to ourselves and to others, we are better able to drop into this moment and to move skillfully with whatever is here. Mindfulness allows us to be awake to all of the challenges and blessings of our life. In essence it is a practice of living this moment.
At Living This Moment, my hope is to offer tools — to kids, to parents, to physicians and other health care providers, and to anyone who is challenged by this sense of overwhelm. Through education, dialogue, experiential workshops, courses and retreats, you will learn, practice and grow in your capacity to be alive, to be awake and to care for yourself, your community and the world.